A tiny burger restaurant on West Street that's been around for just over 15 years is expanding with a second location, and it should be ready by the end of the month.
Shawn Meyer, who opened West Street Burgersat 130 S. West Street in August 2002, is adding a second restaurant in an old Pizza Hut building at 2560 S. Seneca that most recently was home to a payday loan business. He hopes to have the new restaurant open by the end of March.
And before you ask, no — Meyer is not going to call his second location "Seneca Street Burgers." Plenty of people have suggested that he follow his geographical naming system for his second restaurant, but after consulting with business experts, he's decided to stick with his original name. He might use the name "West Street Burgers on Seneca" in his marketing, he said.
"It just seems like a good location to expand to," Meyer said. "It's a bigger location than our original with a lot more seating available. I'm happy about that. I'm just trying to grow the brand."
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The Seneca Street store will seat 72, a big jump from the 14 Meyer can seat in his original shop, which sits right next door to Sonic on West Street. He said he started a major remodel of the interior and exterior back in December.
"It's hard to find a seat at the original store, so this place should have ample seating," Meyer said. "Hopefully it sells out too."
Meyer, an Arkansas City native, worked at the Walt's restaurant that operated in the West Street location before he took it over and made it his own. His restaurant is an old-fashioned burger joint where the meat is never frozen and where fries, chips and onion rings are homemade every day, he said. It's also known for its Philly cheese steak sandwich and its happy hour, which is from 2 to 5 p.m. daily and offers drinks and shakes for half price.
Meyer said he remembers going to the spot on South Seneca as a teenager, back when it was a Pizza Hut. He has wanted to open a second restaurant for a while and finally decided it was the right time, he said. He's interested in expanding to other parts of town in the future.
"Two will probably be enough for a little while, but we'll just keep grilling," he said. "It would be nice to have at least 25, like Spangles."
Meyer had been advertising an opening date of March 21, but a few unexpected remodeling issues came up, so now he's aiming for the end of March.
The new restaurant will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and will be closed on Sundays.
I'll let you know when he's ready to open.
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Friends Tom Kluge and Kent Kruske have been visiting local burger joints together for 15 years. They have a spreadsheet with remarks about their dining experiences. (July 6, 2016) video by Jaime Green McClatchyjgreen@wichitaeagle.com